Reggae Music News

From Kanye to Stephen Harper, new ‘q’ host Shad shares his 5 dream interviews

By Nick Patch



TORONTO _ Although it’s still only a few shows old, the most striking feature of Shad’s new “q” is that it hardly seems to be about Shad at all.

The 32-year-old has smoothly handled his inaugural performances but has placed the focus squarely on his guests, an eclectic bunch that’s included the Kids in the Hall, actor Randall Park, author Jon Ronson and Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq. And he intends for that to continue.

“That’s my mentality _ this isn’t a Shad show,” says the London, Ont.-raised hip-hop artist, sipping a coffee at CBC headquarters.

“I was so proud at the end of the (first) show,” he adds, praising guests Chilly Gonzales, Tagaq, Shane Koyczan and Marc Maron.

“We just gave Canada the full-on business. That was a hell of a show…. And that’s what I’m excited to do. It’s not ‘look at me’ _ it’s ‘look at this.”’

With that in mind, Shad shared with The Canadian Press five of his dream interview subjects _ and what they’d discuss.

1. Kanye West

“He’s such an entertaining interviewee. He just says provocative things. That’s great, because you can’t just have someone who confirms what everyone else is thinking all the time _ especially as an artist.

“I’d probably ask him about collaboration. He has this egomaniac rep, but at the same time, he’s the best collaborator. I think that would be a really interesting thing to unpack _ and hopefully it would get him on a big long spiel and I wouldn’t have to say another word.”

2. Kendrick Lamar

“He just made … it’s like not an album, it’s another thing he made. He just created a whole other thing.

“I’d be curious about that. I feel like ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City’ was the perfect album, and I feel like this, he wasn’t even trying to make the perfect album. It’s like a multi-sensory art installation.

“(I’d ask): What’s the future of recorded music in his mind?”

3. Joseph Boyden

“This is super general, but I’d be curious about his thoughts on the future of this country. He’s connected to a lot of artists and when you’re connected to a lot of artists and you’re an artist yourself, you have this prophetic sense of where this is going. Where are people’s minds at?

“He’s so respected and charismatic, I think he could speak really well to that _ what he sees as the future of our country.”

4. Steve Nash

“I find (it) so crazy, thinking about athletes’ careers, because of how early they end. It’s so weird to me. I read ‘The Game’ by Ken Dryden, and he’s talking from the perspective of being a 30-year-old guy in the net just kind of feeling that love for the game slip a little bit, or physically feeling yourself slip a bit. What does that feel like?

“We’d also maybe have a little basketball nerd-out.”

5. Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“I would definitely want to ask him about energy. What was the big plan there? We all know that can’t go on forever, so tell us. Was the plan to pin our whole economy on that?

“And I would definitely ask him about the CBC. That would be fun and funny.

“I don’t think I could handle it super seriously. I don’t think it would be fair to Canadians. I’d have to poke at him a little bit in different ways.

“We’d talk music for sure. I caught his Guns N’ Roses cover. Pretty good.”


Answers have been edited and condensed.

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